KOTA KINABALU September 13, 2012: An article published on a blog that claims to be pro-Pakatan Rakyat has drawn the ire of KadazanDusun and Murut leaders and people for insulting and denigrating their traditional dance.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) yesterday strongly condemned the article entitled “Tarian Sumazau Untuk Golongan Rendah Akhlak” (Sumazau Dance for People With Low Morals), which was posted on Suara Pakatan Rakyat on September 11.
Leaders of the two parties which have strong KadazanDusun and Muruts base also lodged separate police reports yesterday against the author of the article at the Penampang district police station.
UPKO Youth movement Information Chief Monih Epin lodged the report at about 2pm while PBS secretary general Datuk Henrynus Amin, accompanied by leaders and members from the Moyog, Kapayan and Inanam divisions, lodged the report shortly later.
Speaking to reporters, Henrynus said,
- “PBS condemns in the strongest term the article and it also takes exception to the article which mocks Prime Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Panglima Rosmah Mansor for participating in the Sumazau dance during the Kadazandusun and Murut Harverst Festival.
- “Second, PBS condemns the title of the blog, “Tarian sumazau untuk golongan lemah akhlak” which suggests the Sumazau dance is only fit for those with low morality,” he said, adding that the remark implied the Kadazandusun and Murut community are immoral or people of low morality.
- “Third, PBS condemns the statement “Ia bukanlah tarian rakyat sepertimana yang kebanyakan dari kita semua faham.” The statement suggests that Sumazau is not fit to be performed for enjoyment during festivities as the dance is only for religious rituals and that those participating in Sumazau are involved in some sort of worship. This is a baseless statement as Sumazau is a dance for all occasions.
- “Fourth, PBS condemns the following statement, “Penulis akui, tak berapa faham tentang tarian, cantik ke tak cantik, sumbang ke tak sumbang, tapi penulis tahu jenis dan gaya tarian itu tak berapa berkenan di mata penulis, nampak bodoh saja mengepak-ngepak macam burung. This statement suggests that those participating in the Sumazau dance look stupid. PBS takes exception to the use of the term “bodoh” to describe those dancing Sumazau.
- “Fifth, PBS also condemns the statement, “Penulis yakin, bukan penulis seorang, majority rakyat Malaysia pun sama seperti penulis, tidak berapa nak berminat dengan tarian yang berasal dari upacara pemujaan semangat padi ini. Soal rakyat Sabah sukakannya, itu masalah mereka. Kita di Semenanjung yang jauh lebih moden dan bertamadun tak perlu mengikut mengepak-ngepak seperti itu.” This statement clearly is an insult to the Kadazandusun and Murut community as not modern, backward and less civilized.
- “Sixth, PBS condemns the statement, “Penulis rasa tindakan Najib “mencemar duli” dengan menari tarian Sumazau yang ketinggalan zaman ini ada kaitan dengan meniru pendekatan sama yang pernah dilakukan oleh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebelum ini, terutama dalam cuba menarik perhatian sokongan kaum India. This statement suggests that the Kadazandusun and Murut culture is dirty, uncivilized and unworthy of the royalty in this country.
Henrynus said the use of the term “duli”, though not fully expressed, has the meaning to refer to the sovereign of this country.
According to him, PBS also condemns the statement “Berapa percent sangat mereka di Sabah?” as it mocks the Kadazandusun and Murut community as a minority and politically insignificant to the country.
“PBS deeply regrets that the good intention of the Prime Minister and his wife to participate in dancing Sumazau has been politicized by SUARA PAKATAN RAKYAT with seditious intent.
“We urge the police to investigate and take action against the writer of this blog and the blog itself which is being used to propagate seditious remarks against the Kadazandusun and Murut community.
“We understand that the article in the blog has been removed as of 11.00 am today. But PBS wish to continue with our police report and a copy of the blog is attached with the police report,” he said.
On PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail Wan Azizah’s statement that the website had nothing to do with Pakatan Rakyat, Henrynus said he was of the opinion that the opposition coalition should then take action against the blogger.
“I am waiting for their action to lodge a police report against Suara Pakatan Rakyat. I am challenging the leadership of Parti Keadilan, DAP and PAS to take action against this blog,” he said, adding that he was of the opinion that the article was not only insulting the KadazaDusun but also other native groups, including the Dayaks, “because we belong to the same ethnicity”.
Meanwhile, Monih urged the police to investigate and take action against the author of the article which claimed among other things that ‘sumazau’ was a form of worship and not a ‘folk’ dance performed and enjoyed by all KadazanDusun and Muruts as well as other ethnic groups in Sabah during celebrations and festivals.
He said: “We want to know if the article is seditious. If yes, then can action under the Sedition Act be taken against the author and will the police refer the case to the Public Prosecutor?
“We also want the police to investigate if the author can be referred to the Native Court for action because the individual had insulted the culture and tradition of the KadazanDusun community.”
Monih said the article could disrupt harmony among the people in Malaysia.